HIBS Hungry For Another Trevor Rigby Triumph

“I love my school. We only get a short time in the First XI and I want it to end successfully,” Cole Kennedy from Hutt International Boys’ School stresses ahead of the Trevor Rigby Cup First XI football final against Scots College at Petone Memorial Park on Wednesday night.

The Upper Hutt midfielder will line up alongside Grant Baker and Jacob Yee in his third consecutive decider, seeking a repeat of last year’s 2-0 success over St Patrick’s College, Silverstream. HIBS have been to the last five finals and won three titles.

“Playing the final is a wave,”  Kennedy observes.

“It’s not often the whole school is out to support you, but when they are you just have to ride the wave while doing your best to keep your emotions in check.”

Kennedy’s first final was a disappointment. Despite an industrious 35 minutes off the bench, HIBS was beaten 1-2 by St Pats Town. The ‘Manny’ goal was the telling difference.

The memory of Nathan Watt was the telling difference between HIBS and the rest in 2018. In May the popular Year 13 student and First XI footballer and hockey player tragically passed. The rest of the season was dedicated to their fallen friend. Kennedy scored the second and clinching goal in the climax against Silverstream.

“That was the best moment I’ve had in football. It was really hard after Nathan passed, but thinking about what he meant to the boys, and still does, is a great motivation,” Kennedy said.

HIBS will have no shortage of motivation to topple Scots College who have beaten HIBS 2-1 and 3-1 this season, the most recent meeting less than a month ago.

“It was a tight first-half, though there were points we dominated,” Kennedy reflects on the most recent encounter.

“In the second-half we miss-fired. We were missing a few key players, but they deserved to win.”

The composition of the Scots team changes frequently subject to the availability of their Phoenix Academy players.  Is Kennedy concerned HIBS will confront a stacked Scots outfit?

“I’m not sure what Scots team will be and I don’t really care. If we support each other, stick to our structures and go hard we can beat them. Being together the whole season is an advantage we have over them,” Kennedy responded.

The spectacle promises to be a contrast of styles. Both teams have won seven out of ten games, but Scots are prolific scorers having netted 39 goals contrasted with HIBS 29. However HIBS have conceded ten fewer goals than Scots.

Last Saturday, Scots edged St Pats Town 7-6 in a wild affair with James Beasley scoring four goals. Earlier in the season Scots put 11 goals past St Pats Silverstream.

HIBS had a more subdued 3-1 win against Rathkeale College on Saturday with Kennedy earning a place on the scoresheet.

In the summer Kennedy pays his dues as a wicketkeeper in the First XI cricket team. HIBS won the Wellington title last year defeating eventual national champions Wellington College in the decider. Kennedy is a handy lower order batsman and boasts a highest score of 70.

Next year Kennedy intends to study accounting at Victoria University and perform strongly for his new football club, Island Bay.

The Trevor Rigby Cup final between HIBS and Scots kicks off at Petone Memorial at 7:30pm with the Premier Reserve final between Onslow College and Kapiti College preceding the main event at 5:15pm.